Etoile-Solo Ballet Variations[CD]
~ Christian Matjias
Etoile Solo Ballet Variations In the market for Classical Ballet Class CD's there is an absence of recordings featuring women's variations from the Pas de deux repertory, so often used in the training of young dancers. Teachers and dancers have been forced to seek out the few complete orchestral recordings of ballets in order to find the brief two-minute variations needed in teaching the classic repertory. Once they find those recordings, they might find tempi better suited for a professional dancer, or more likely may be recorded with no sense of an appropriate dance tempo, thereby being all but useless for the dancer. Nicola Conraths and Christian Matjias came up with the idea of recording selected women's variations at a variety of tempi so that teachers could use them for any level and any age of dancer. With the graded tempi, dancers could also use different versions to work on specific details, instead of always relying upon the same speed time and again. You may say \'well, I have a variable speed CD player\'. Though a nice piece of hardware to own, a variable speed player adjusts the entire movement to whatever tempo you set. So often, as heard in our recording of the Le Corsaire variations, contrasts in tempi within sections is crucial, and could not easily be executed with the simple adjustment of a variable speed player. The variations selected for the Etoile CD: Don Quixote - Kitri's Variation, Act III - 8 versions Don Quixote - Coda, Act III - 6 versions Le Corsaire - Medora Variation - 2 versions Le Corsaire - Medora Alternate Variation - 3 versions Le Corsaire - Coda - 3 versions The Sleeping Beauty - "Bluebird Variation" - 2 versions The Sleeping Beauty - "Aurora's Variation" - 2 versions Swan Lake - Petite Swan Pas de quatre - 6 versions George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de deux - 8 versions The variations with 6 and 8 different tempi can be used not only to teach the choreography, but can be utilized for teaching of basic principles for very young dancers - turning, spotting, jete turns, chaine turns, and more. The versions of Tchaikovsky\'s Dances of the Little Swans are quite varied in tempo in order to serve teachers of very young students as well as the intermediate level dancer. The many versions offered for Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de deux now make it possible for dancers to properly learn the variation step-by-step, moving up each grade of tempo until they have it at the professional tempo. A perfect CD from which to choose recital material for whatever level of dancer you may have, with selections to also meet the needs of the competitive dancer. This is a must-have disc for teachers and dancers alike. Christian Matjias is one of the leading Dance / Music Specialists in the field, and an Associate Professor of Dance and Music at the University of Michigan. A native of Los Angeles, he attended the University of Southern California, earning degrees in Harpsichord and Early Music Performance, with secondary studies in Conducting. Intending to become a vocal accompanist and opera repetiteur, he instead became one of the most active dance musicians in Southern California prior his 1991 move to Michigan. As both performer and scholar, he is sought out by dancers across fields seeking to collaborate on choreography, technique classes, in addition to consulting on musical matters as relates to the staging of classical ballets. He has worked with, among others, the Balanchine Trust, Balanchine Foundation, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, TUDance, Leopold Dance Group, and has played for Maria Tallchief, Edward Villella, Eliot Feld, Gail Gilbert, and numerous dancers for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, David Parsons Dance Company, Cullberg Ballet, Jose Limon Dance Company, Jose Greco Dance Company, Boston Ballet, and Martha Graham Dance Company. Christian's versatility also encompasses the vocal and instrumental repertory. He's served as repetiteur for productions of La Boheme, Carmina Burana and The Cradle Will Rock, as well as having performed with legendary cult avant-garde musician, Jandek.
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